Toward a better booze-scape: seven egg-infused creations boost Toronto’s cocktail comeback
For years, Torontonians returning from Chicago and New York brought tales of their cocktail adventures—stories typically followed by complaints about the dismal state of mixed drinks in their hometown. Well, that’s in the process of changing. Professional mixologists are increasingly common at bars and restaurants in this city, and they have been leading something of a cocktail comeback. Such Gatsby-era classics as flips, fizzes and sours are popping up everywhere, and crafty bartenders have revived the use of eggs to froth up these bold creations. We decided to look into the practice and found some of the city’s more inspired egg-infused cocktails.
“Using eggs in cocktails may seem like a new trend, but they’ve been used in the most classic of cocktails throughout the history of the craft,” says Michelle Tham, head bartender at Colborne Lane. The practice went out of fashion in the ’50s, when worries about bacteria and illness began to emerge. Salmonella inside eggs, however, is extraordinarily rare (prevalent in less than 0.01 per cent). “It’s the outside of the eggshell that carries most bacteria,” explains Moses Mcintee, Ame’s bar manager. “So as long as you clean the shell you’ll be fine.” He uses a slightly acidic bath (one part vinegar and five parts water) to clean the eggs before using them in drinks. Some bartenders also trust that shaking the egg with alcohol, or shaking the cocktail twice over ice, will kill any remaining germs.
Either way, eggs add something special to the drinking experience. “Different parts do different things,” explains Frankie Solarik, co-owner of Barchef. “The yolks make the drink more viscous, egg nog style, while the whites emulsify it, making it more frothy. The whites also cut the acidity of the alcohol and bring out the subtle flavours of the drink’s ingredients.” And while some bar-goers might be hesitant at first to down raw embryo, those who’ve tried the rich and creamy creations keep going back for more. “Our egg-based drinks are very popular,” says Solarik.
Here, we’ve rounded up seven of the best egg-based cocktails the city has to offer.